World Emergency Relief rebranded to Emerge Poverty Free to give a clearer indication of the charity's core work in sustainable development
World Emergency Relief was a well-established charity with a solid core of Christian supporters, many of whom were aged over 75. But staff at the anti-poverty charity had concerns about the name.
"A typical conversation would start with us explaining that, yes, we do respond to emergencies but that we do more long-term development work too," says Ben Carter, marketing and communications manager.
"It was a challenge introducing yourself, and that manifested itself in all our marketing messages."
When the charity, which employs nine staff and has an annual income of £7.9m, reviewed its communications strategy in autumn last year, it decided to act.
It opened a consultation on rebranding and the responses informed a series of statements about what the charity should do, which formed the basis of its new mission and values. A consultant helped with this process for free.
The Kent-based creative agency Red and Green Marketing was then hired at a cost of £30,000 to develop a new name, brand and website.
The new name, Emerge Poverty Free, gives a clearer indication of the charity's core work in sustainable development. The charity could be called simply Emerge in three or four years. "We are hoping to measure brand recognition and, if it is high enough, we might consider dropping 'poverty free'," says Carter.
He says the new brand might appeal to younger donors in the 55 to 60 age bracket and the simple, more hopeful message might attract more corporate supporters.
To ensure continuity, the charity has retained its red and black brand colours, but the new logo includes a balloon. "Poverty is a dark subject," says Carter. "The balloon is about contrasting that with hope and ambition.
People respond to balloons with a sense of fun and happiness."
He says the most difficult aspect of the rebrand, which went live on 15 June, has been not alienating its core supporters. But feedback on the new branding has so far been "mostly positive", he says.
Carter believes that some of the larger charities spend too much on rebrands. "They could often get work done pro bono," he says.
EXPERT VIEW - JAMIE WATSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PIXEl8
The new logo is far more positive, focusing on the end game as opposed to the devastation of the current situation. The lower case is contemporary and the use of the two colours is far less startling.
Its icon also exudes hope and a freeness that encapsulates the charity's ethos and end game.
The only issue is that the logo isn't symmetrical and will be difficult to recreate when applying to other collateral. The website is a case in point - the top of the balloon has been cut off. Having "poverty free" starting at the end of the "g" of "emerge" makes the logo very long. "Poverty free" could be set underneath "emerge" and the balloon could appear at the end, but no higher or lower than the logo itself. In this way, the logo could be applied to all collateral without having to be amended in the future for t-shirts, print, pens and so on.
6 out of 10
By John Plummer